From the SF Chron

*edit* 1pm: here's a link to offset the "bad" news I was mired in for the first couple paragraphs. Stuff you can DO about it! =)

http://biz.yahoo.com/special/frugal05.html

"Northern Californians buy more cars
Sales increase of 9.4% beats other regions — industry economist credits wealth effect"

Gross. I've been reading <i>Affluenza</i> and it's hard to stay positive, with so many folks basing the quality of their lives on things, the ability to buy things, and working to make money with the goal of being able to buy things. Ew. For the umpteenth time, so GLAD to be out of California.

I just hope America figures it out before other developing nations are deeply entrenched in emulating what they see on TV, and what we've done as a nation. Hopefully they can bypass the greedy, consuming, SUV-gotta-have-it-damn-the-resources, gimme-my-coffee-screw-the-birds-gone-due-to-coffee-plantations, give-me-my-gold-ring-who-cares-about-mining-waste pit so much of America has become.

One person can make a difference. Especially when each one meets others and the numbers grow. Don't give up. I'm not going to. Not give up on myself when I sputter and lapse, buy try to get on track again. Buying things is ok, with care, education, and thought. Support non-mass production when I can, not taking the "cheap" route when I can support environmental practices and small biz for a few more dollars. Our copper fire pit will cost about $20 more, but it will be all recycled copper, no new mining, only reusing. Next step is to maintain compassion for those stuck in the consumer cycle. Not to look upon those buying up land and building huge houses, 4000k sq foot that they don't need with disdain, but with love. Not to shun my coworkers when they buy that next Cadillac Escalade. I'll smile, state why I drive a small car, and end it at that. Release the seeds and not worry about where they fall. And try to love along the way.